Democratic Politics (NTSE/Olympiad)  

4. Gender, Religion and Caste

Caste in Politics

Caste in Politics : Casteism is rooted in the belief that caste is the sole basis of social community. According to this way of thinking, people belonging to the same caste belong to a natural social community and have the same interests which they do not share with any one from another caste.
Caste can take various forms in politics :
1. When parties choose candidates in election, they keep in mind the caste composition of the electorate and nominate candidates from different castes so as to get necessary support to win elections.
2. Political parties make appeals to caste sentiment to muster supports. Some political parties favour some castes.
3. Universal adult franchise brought new consciousness among the people of caste that were earlier treated as inferior and low.
4. No parliamentary constituency in the country has a clear majority of one single caste. So, every candidate and party needs to win the confidence of more than one caste and community to win elections.
5. No party wins the votes of all the voters of caste or community. When people say that a caste is ‘vote bank’ of one part, it usually means that a large proportion of the voters from that caste vote for that party.
6. Many political parties put up candidates from the same caste. (if that caste is believed to dominate, the electorate in a particular constituency). Some voters have more than one candidate from their caste.
7. The ruling party and the sitting MP or MLA frequently lose elections in our country. That could not have happened if all castes and communities were frozen in their political preferences.
8. Voters have strong attachment to political parties which is often stronger than their attachment to their castes or community.
9. Rich and poor or men and women from the same caste often vote very differently.
10. People’s assessment of the performance of the government and the popularity rating of the leaders also matter.

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